According to the
American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed among both men and women in the United States.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and it is important to know your
risk factors for colon and rectal cancers and to get screened. There are screening tests available that can detect colon cancer early and prevent it from progressing. Most people at average risk of colon cancer should begin screening at age 45.
Various colon cancer screening options are covered by Medicaid, so it's important to talk to your health care provider about when and how you should get screened for colon cancer. In 2020 alone, nearly 34,000 Pennsylvanians covered by Medicaid were screened for colon cancer, with more than 2,000 cases of colon cancer detected. And, because the Wolf Administration expanded Medicaid coverage, in 2020, more than 15,000 Pennsylvanians were able to get screened for colon cancer and 440 of those had their cancer diagnosed. Simply put, these are Pennsylvanians who might not be alive today if these screenings were not covered under Medicaid or the commonwealth's Medicaid expansion.
Colon cancer screening can save lives, maybe even yours! If you are over age 45 or have a family history or risk factors that might put you at higher risk for this type of cancer, be sure to talk to your health care provider about what screening option is right for you.